Author Topic: 2D to 3D to CAM  (Read 1200 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1913
  • Intel i7-960, 12GB, NVidiaGTX570, Win7x64, DC26.2
    • World of van Vliet
Re: 2D to 3D to CAM
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2017, 03:12:29 PM »
The best I could do was finding the business address in the Denmark business pages:

Magic Systems
Rødbyvej 1, 4895 Errindlev

Which is about 12 km East of Rødby as mentioned in Magic's DesignCad's profile. Apparently the Rødby municipality is about 120 km2. So this is possible.

Google map show a 2010 image of a relative new large corner building at that address. On the front it says: Jens Clausen, Galleri, then a web address which I couldn't find. Looking up Jens Clausen in the Personal phone pages does not give any results either.

So much for my detective work  :'(


  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
Re: 2D to 3D to CAM
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2017, 11:50:44 AM »
If I am reading everyone correctly, what I'm trying to do with the forms I've drawn doesn't require a 3D program. It's really a 2D operation, which would probably save me a ton of work until I get to the contoured parts. I'll be using a program called Mach3 to drive the machine, so what I'd need would be the intermediate program that creates tool paths. Even though I'm essentially cutting flat stock, the CAM program would have to show the process in 3D so I can manipulate depths of cut when needed, and also to create tabs to keep the parts from being cut through and flying all around before the machine reaches the end of the program. I am open to recommendations, and I might also bug the guys on the CNC forums for their suggestions.

BD, I am curious to learn a bit more about how you lay out the curves in 2D and then switch to 3D. What sort of objects are you modeling? I was also curious to learn if the "B" in "BD" might stand for "Bob!"  :) And remembering that the Y axis is vertical might be more than my overworked brain cell (singular) can handle.

RobS, I didn't have anything else to upload that hadn't already been uploaded before. After struggling with the program (and being pretty sure there were still some parameters I hadn't set in DesignCAD), I exited without saving in order to have the extruded file ready for another go. I was also surprised to learn that you had found unconnected lines in my drawing. Milling or routing machines are very intolerant of this, so I use the two-line join command in the snap menu lavishly. I check my results by doing a hatch fill in the enclosed area. If I leave any lines unconnected, the fill operation will always fail.

Thanks again for all your help. I recall seeing the Magic Systems product very briefly on the IMSI web site, and I also remember from a few posts in earlier years that I got answers from him (can't recall his name, for some reason). A program that integrated tightly with DesignCAD would have been enormously helpful, but I would hate to get dependent on orphaned software, giving Microsoft's propensity to improve  things that often don't really need it.



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 875
Re: 2D to 3D to CAM
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2017, 04:28:49 PM »
BD, I am curious to learn a bit more about how you lay out the curves in 2D and then switch to 3D.

Hello rjspear,
Like drawing a boat. I lay out the stations in 2-D Mode on a single XY  (Menu/Options/2-D Mode) plane, then switch to 3-D Mode (Menu/Options/2-D Mode) and space them out along the z axis.  (EDIT now that DC lets you assign the xz or yz plane from the options menu, it would be more appropriate to use one of those. But I'm a late adapter)  I use the N, M, and S macros and the point relative command (apostrophe key) heavily. I work in point select mode, and try to avoid handles at all times. (They make a mess of point select mode).

After you make a grid using Surface Connect, you can use the Contour Line command to visualize contours on the grid parallel to the xz or yz planes. When all the contours and stations are fair, your grid is (sort-of) done. Some users edit the contours too.

Then rotate the entire drawing 90 degrees, if necessary, so that the contours you want to be horizontal are in the xy plane, and export only the grid to DXF or STL. (I'm guessing that since your object is symmetrical, you won't need to mirror it first to correct for DC's reversed z direction, if you are working in lefthand coordinates mode.) If you're exporting to dxf, you may need to convert your grid to solid (Solid Define), depending on the g-code generator you use.

DrPR has plenty of good posts on this site about drawing 3d surfaces.  Worth a look.

(No Bob Here)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 08:07:53 PM by bdeck »


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 875
Re: 2D to 3D to CAM
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2017, 09:48:14 AM »
Here are a couple of examples shown after moving the grid off of the stations.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 09:51:50 AM by bdeck »


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 875
Re: 2D to 3D to CAM
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2017, 04:52:52 PM »
3. What steps would be needed to move the ... drawing(s) into a CAM program (recommendations gratefully accepted)

Hello RJ,

Here's a screen image of MeshCam's CutViewerMill after simulating a cut of a g-code file generated by ACE from a dxf file generated by DC.

Ace allows multiple pocket depths to be set up by simply drawing the path for each cut depth on a separate cad layer.

ACE doesn't account for tool size when generating a tool path. That's up to you to do within your dc file (by using F2 to create parallel lines from your original using the tool radius as the parallel distance)

It' up to you to add the feed rates and verify that the z direction is correct.

CutViewerMill will add the tool and material lines to the g-code.

ACE is free, CutViewMill is free for 30days, and MeshCam is free for 15 days.

MeshCam is very easy to get up and running, and gives good results quickly in either 2D or 3D.  Among the 3D files I've exported from DesignCad, it works for me only with STL files.  (Ive tried 3D dxf files exported from DC-solid and DC-non-solid mesh without success.) One good thing about exporting to STL is that you don't have to convert DC surface-connect mesh to solid before exporting to STL. The presumed down side is the possibility that the triangles (on STL or DXF solids) might result in a rougher surface surface texture.

Dunno how all this compares with Lazycam, from Mach 3.

Let us know.

PS: I get the impression that CamBam is good, but I could never make sense of its manual. Maybe it was the drugs.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 05:05:12 PM by bdeck »